Weather and Landscape
Summer has arrived and rain clouds have been forming on the horizon, teasing with the promise of rain. It is really dry now and the only form of moisture is the waterhole in front of camp. At daybreak, a variety of sandgrouse species arrive and rule the waterhole until the heat drives them away. They only move for the occasional jackal that comes to quench its thirst. As the day heats up, the springbok move in, and continue to come and go throughout the day.
The maximum temperature for the month was a steamy 44° C, but the evenings have been very comfy.
The springbok are calving earlier than usual this season - the 'old school' guides say it is an indication of good rains to come. The calves stay together and often entertain us with their playful antics in the open plains. It is amazing, as - while this playfulness seems silly to us - it provides the youngsters with important life skills as they become more nimble, strong and agile.
The resident ostrich families are doing very well. We saw five new chicks at the beginning of the month and we are happy to report that there are still two around at the end of the month. Ostrich chicks are heavily predated on and only a very small number reach adulthood, so we will keep our fingers crossed for them.
On the predatory side of things, we have been very lucky, as we have had some great cheetah sightings. A couple of these sightings included the cheetah gorging on their kills. It is amazing to watch cheetah feed, as they greedily devour the choice parts in case a larger predator arrives and scavenges their kill. The cheetah have been mostly seen in the Witwater area.
The resident herd of oryx has grown, with the addition of a few calves pushing the number up to 47. These animals are without a doubt one of the most iconic desert dwellers. This particular herd constantly moves up and down the Auob River, feeding on the riparian vegetation. An interesting feature of this herd is that there is a leucistic oryx in the herd. It is very easy to spot amongst the other oryx as it is very light in colour.
The blue wildebeest have also returned to the area, and have been concentrated along the airstrip, taking advantage of the open area.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Ivan and Ilze Phillipson, Bona Florry, Carol Tommasi and Elaine Cerva.
Guides: Willem, Nikolas, Willem, Petrus and Abner.